Charles A. West
Sport(s): Basketball (Men's), Track & Field (Men's)
Charlie West is the epitome of the scholar-athlete. A Greencastle, native, he came across town to DePauw on a Rector Scholarship. He lettered in basketball and track in each of the four years at DePauw. He was a starter on the basketball team in his freshman year in spite of having had only one-half year of varsity experience in his senior year at Greencastle High School. In subsequent years, he played as a reserve on teams that featured other Hall of Famers such as Earl B. “Red” Gardner ’48, Russell L. Freeland ’51 and Lee H. Hamilton ’52. In track, he competed as a middle distance runner specializing in the half mile run, doubling regularly as a member of the mile relay team and occasionally in the mile run and quarter mile dash. Aside from his athletic accomplishments, he was president of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, a member of the Student Governing Board and Walker Cup recipient, Gold Key and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, one of the very few students ever to graduate from DePauw with a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in Chemistry. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, majoring in biochemistry. His first (and only) professional position was as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. He rose through the ranks of professor in 1968, and during his career was a graduate adviser, vice chairman and chairman of the department. He retired to professor emeritus in 1993, after teaching at the University for 38 years. DePauw awarded West a Rector achievement Award in 1974, and in 1987 he was selected to present the 11th Percy L. Julian Memorial Lecture. The University conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree in 1981. He and his wife, Carol Venerable, have two sons, and live in Los Angeles.